The unique perspective and provocative opinions of Joe O’Neill
Moonwalking To Odd Squad
50th anniversary of America putting a man on the moon: Do we proudly
celebrate or soberly reflect? Fist-bump for “American
Exceptionalism” or wax nostalgic for Plessy v. Ferguson? Fifty years ago,
Americans had “the Right Stuff.” A half century later, we have an Oval
Office occupant who embodies “the White Stuff.”Lunar joy to lunatic
least President Donald Trump didn’t confuse Neil Armstrong and Michael
Jackson over moonwalking.
all the racial divisiveness that comes with the targeting of four feisty freshman
congresswomen of color, where’s Ivanka Trump? Doesn’t her, uh, “portfolio,”
include something about “women’s empowerment”? Or were we not ever to have
taken that seriously?
Update: Donald Trump, it has been revealed—by Donald Trump–does not“have
a racist bone” in his body. Not even a spur.
calculated, disingenuous defense of Trump by spineless House Minority Leader Kevin
McCarthy, R-Calif., was a classic case of the all-too-familiar zero-summisdirection ploy. He dismissed the House resolution rebuking Trump’s
racist tweets as “all about politics.” For the record, he refused to condemn
the president’s tweets as racist. He then proclaimed that the real issue was
not about racism, but it was all about “Socialism vs. freedom.” Joe McCarthy
would have liked the bumper-sticker pivot.
transparency: So, the president has been intervening
with Sweden on behalf of jailed black rapper A$AP Rocky. He’s even offered to
personally vouch for his bail. It’s an obvious, diversionary gambit from all
the pushback he’s taking over his racist tweets. It gives blatant hypocrisy a
bad name. Too bad he listens to Kanye West and Kim Kardashian instead of those
who genuinely care about race relations and condemn those who foment racism for
their own self-serving agendas.
would have thought that George Wallace and Lester Maddox would
still be this relevant in 2019 politics?
of the former, back in the day I caught a George Wallace rally inside a
hangar at the St. Petersburg-Clearwater Airport. A lot of Country & Western
music, a lot of Washington establishment condemnation and a lot of “states’
rights” rhetoric. “States’ rights,” of course, was dog-whistle rhetoric for
race—most notably, integration and school busing. Upon reflection and by
today’s “lock her up,” “sh_thole countries” and “go back to where you came
from” rhetoric, “states’ rights” dog-whistling never seemed so nuanced and
civilized. As an outsider, I never felt threatened. Doubt if Jim Acosta can say
the same thing these days.
leadership in the world would soon be lost.”—That was President Ronald
Reagan warning about what would happen if the U.S. were to shut its doors
Trump, as we well know, is largely unread. Alas, a notable exception is
the Autocrat’sHandbook. He’s likely underlined and written in
too bad that “American Exceptionalism” isn’t synonymous with “Country
First,” followed by party partisanship and self-serving political careers.